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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 8, 2013 PAGE 13A Netanyahu calls for parties to unite JERUSALEM(JTA)--Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for Israeli political par- ties to unite hours after being granted an extension to form a flew government. Netanyahu used the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons to illustrate why the coun- try's politicians must remain united. Israeli President Shimon Peres on Saturday night gave Netanyahu a two-week exten- sion, as permitted by law, to continue his efforts to form a coalition government. Netanyahu reported to Peres that in discussions with potential coalition partners, he has made "signifiCant progress" on foreign affairs, economic issues and universal military or national service, but has been unable to form a government due to a "boy- cott" of the haredi Orthodox parties. "I am doing everything within my power to unite the nation; I believe that we as Jews have suffered from boycotts," Netanyahu said Saturday night. "We know that Israel is boycotted in international fo~rums; We are rightly outraged when goods from the settlers in Judea and Samaria are boycotted. More than anyone it is the settler population in Judea and Sa= mariawho should understand this as they suffer from daily boycotts." TheYeshAtid party has said it will refuse to sit in a govern- ment with the haredi parties, and the Jewish Home party, which was widely supported by voters living in the West Bank settlements, has said it will only join a government that includes Yesh Atid. At the opening of Sunday's regular Cabinet meeting, Ne- tanyahu said he was briefed on major powers' talks with Iran on the nuclear issue, which he regards as an effort by Iran to st~ill for time as it continues to process uranium to make nuclear weapons. Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid wrote on his Facebook page over the weekend that it would "not be a t~'agedy" if the haredi parties did not sit in the new government. Also over the weekend, senior advisers to Netanyahu told Israeli news outlets that the new governmentwill have to freeze construction in Jew- ish settlements outside the large West Bank settlement blocs in order to appease the international community. Assad threatens to.retaliate against Israel as shells land on Golan JERUSALEM (JTA)--Syr- ian President Bashar Assad said his country would retali- ate against Israel for a Janaary airstrike on a weapons facility near Damascus, Assad made the remarks on Sunday, a day after mor- -tar shells fired from Syria landed on the Golan Heights. The shells reportedly were fired into Israeli territory by accident during a firefight between Syrian rebels and government military forces. It was the second time in recent days that mortar fire from Syria landed in Is- raeli territory. United Nations peacekeeping troopswere told about the strike. Assad said in an interview published in London's Sunday Times that his country would retaliate for what is believed to be an Israeli strike on a re- search facility near Damascus used for developing chemical weapons. "We retaliated in our own way, and only the Israelis know what we mean,"Assad told the Sunday Times. "Retaliation does not mean missile for missile or bullet for bullet. Our own way does not have to be announced." Meanwhile, Syrian op- position forces accused the Syrian government Of firing mortars at a 2,000-year-old synagogue near Damascus. A video of the historic Jobar Synagogue showing dam- age to parts of the building, including a blown-off roof, was posted on YouTube over the weekend by the Syrian opposition's military council. Report: Netanyahu, Abdul- lah meet to discuss peace process JERUSALEM (JTA)--!sra~ Prime Minister Benjamin Ne- tanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah II met in Jordan to discuss the Middle East peace process. The meeting took place last week, the French news agency AFt~reported Saturday, citing an anonymous diplomatic source. Itwas Netanyahu's firstvisit with a foreign head of state since the Jan. 22 national elec- tion. The meeting comes in advance of President Obama's visit to Israel and Jordan later this month. ( Jordan sponsored meetings last year between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in a failed attempt to jump-start the stalled peace talks. Israeli bus company insti- tutes special Palestinian bus lines JERUSALEM (JTA)--An Israeli bus company will offer special bus lines to transport Palestinian passengers from the West Bank into central Israel. The institution of the spe- cial lines by the Afikim bus company is meant to ease the overcrowding of bus lines that go into Jewish settlements, the Transportation Ministry told Ynet. Palestinians cannot enter Jewish settlements. They board the buses at stops on the Trans-Samaria Highway. Jewish bus riders have complained that the buses were overcrowded and said they were concerned about security risks, Ynet reported. Jewish and P.alestinian riders have scuffled verbally and physically on the buses, ac- cording to reports. Israel's finance chief wor- ries about sequestration effects JERUSALEM (JTA)--Is- rael's finance minister ex- pressed concern that U.S. financial difficulties would affect Israel's economy. "We are very worried about the financial difficulties in the U.S., and I hope they won't hurt us," Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said at Sunday's Cabinet meeting. Steinitz's comments came after Obama on Friday night ordered $85 billion in auto- matic, across-the-board cuts, called sequestration, after Congress failed to reach a compromise on deficit re- duction. U.S. government agencies must cut $85 billion from their budgets through Oct. 1, much of it coming from the Defense Department. The cuts are sure to affect military aid from the United States to Israel, with estimates of cuts as high as $300 million, including affecting funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system. Key witness in Olmert trial dies (JTA)--A key state witness in a corruption trial against former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert died hours after testifying. The witness, identified in the Israeli media as S.D., was 75 when he died Feb. 28, Army Radio reported. He suffered from severe health problems. Olmert, who served as Je- rusalem mayor from 1993 to 2003, is accused of expediting the expanded construction of the Holyland luxury apart- ment complex and facilitating other real estate ventures in the city in exchange for bribes paid not to him. but to others. Ethiopians set marks to pace Jerusalem marathon fields (JTA)--Ethiopian runners set records in winning the men's and women's divisions of the Jerusalem marathon. Abraham Kabeto Ketla took the men's race last Friday in a time of.2:16:29.25, while Mihiret Anamo Anotonios was first among the women in 2:47:26.40. Some 20,000 participants from 52 nations participated in the Jerusalem Winner In- ternational Marathon. Orga- nizers said they received 1,750 international applications. New York couple killed on way to hospital to have baby, who survives (JTA)--A New York Jewish couple was killed in a hit-and- run accident on the way to the hospital to have their first baby, who later died. Nachman and Raizi Glau- ber, 21-year-old Satmar ha2 sidim from Brooklyn, were killed late Saturday night while riding in a cab to Bel- levue Hospital in Manhattan. The driver and passenger of the car that hit the cab fled on foot and have not been identified, the New York Post reported. The couple died of head injuries, according to the , newspaper. The baby was born in the hospital and was in serious condition, but did not make it. Philip Gordon appointed White House Mideast i:oor- dinator (JTA) - Philip Gordon, a foreign policy expert in the Oba'ma administration, was appointed the White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf Region. Gordon's appointment was announced Saturday by White House National Security Ad- visor Tom Donilon. Gordon will begin in his new post on March 11, according to the announcement. Gordon has served as as- sistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian af- fairs since May 2009. He was a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Beren loses quadruple over- time thriller NEWYORK (JTA) ,'-Beren Academy, which made in= ternational headlines last year with its battle to avoid a forfeit in the Texas state boys' basketball tournament over a Sabbath scheduling conflict, lost in quadruple overtime in the state semifinalsl Beren fell to Boerne Gene- va, 68-67, on Friday afternoon in the Texas Association of Beren lost in the 2A title Jon Stewart letter support- game last season after ini- ~ ing Code Pink is fake tially being forced to forfeit its 0TA)--An email attributed semifinal because the game, to comedian Jon Stewart, scheduled for Friday night, in which he supposedly ex- conflicted with the Sabbath. presses support for the activ- TheacademyfoughtTAPPStoist group Code Pink, is fake. have the game rescheduled to Comedy Central said Feb. 28 Private andParochial Schools Friday afternoon and eventu- 2A tournament--for schools with enrollments of 55 to 120 students--in Fort Worth. A last-second layup to win the game for the Stars rimmed out. The Houston Jewish day school had forced a fourth overtime with a running three-pointer from 30 feet at the buzzer. Senior Zach Yosser, the only returning starter from last year, scored 30 points for Beren. ally won the battle. Following the controversy, TAPPS instituted a new policy, posted on the association's website, stating that religious accommodation "shall be the standard as TAPPS prepares for state competitions that are accessible to all member schools and the students that they serve through team ac- tivities." Th~ new policy went into effect for the 2012-13 school year. that the popular television host was not the author of the email circulated the day before by Code Pink. In the email, the author calls Code Pink co-fotmder Medea Benjmain a "friend" and urges the U.S. govern- ment to release memos related to drone attacks on militants in Pakistan. Code Pink is a left-wing advocacy group critical of U.S. foreign policy, including its support of Israel. munity Call on Central Florida's Exclusively Jewish Funeral Home for Details Regarding: Traditional Jewish Funerals Non-Traditional Services Interstate Shipping Pre-Arranged Funerals (Shalom Assurance Plan) Headstone, Grave Markers (Cardinal Memorials) 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W.E. "Manny" Adams, LFD Samuel P. (Sammy) Goldstein, Executive Director